Can a nation be cut off from the Net?

If we had any doubt about this, the answer has come from a little-known feature of the recent revolution in Egypt. As explained in this article in the “New York Times”, it seems that, in the space of merely an hour or so, Egypt was effectively cut off from the global Internet and that this was the situation for around five days.

It is still not clear exactly how it was done, but that it was done- and so easily and so comprehensively – is a real cause for concern for those of us who see the Net as a liberating force that was assumed to be difficult for repressive regime to control.

My latest Internet column – written before the success of the Egyptian revolution – looks at the opportunities for, and limitations of, social and political activism on the Net. And it is not just activists who should be thinking about these things; the greater use of cloud computing will put many business-critical applications at risk of local Net disruption from whatever cause.


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